THE NETHERLANDS (by Claartje van Andel) At this year’s KWPN national champi- onships, Leunus van Lieren was crowned ‘breeder of the year’. It came as a total surprise to him. His son Grand Prix rider Laurens van Lieren wrote a nice laudatory speech for his father, ‘accusing’ him of never listening to the studbook program, going his own way, behaving stubborn, and having bred 22 Grand Prix horses.
So, what is it about Leunus van Lieren that motivates his obstinacy and how does he explain his incredible success.
Q What was your reaction when you were rewarded the title ‘Breeder of the year’ by the KWPN who apparently you never listen to – according to your son during his fond laudatory speech?
I really felt honoured and flattered. I had not the slightest notion what was going to happen, not even when my best horses and riders, including my son Laurens and the long-time stable rider for Thamar Zweistra, were preparing their horses for the demo. It’s a great compliment and that’s the way I feel it with all my heart. I really have never felt neglected nor disqualified. I just did what I did. I just followed my heart. And now there is an official reward for that. It’s a compliment.
The start: Amanda
Q Please explain something about the very start of your breeding. You have one mare virtually dominating all your bloodlines and suc- cesses. Who was she and where did you find her?
Our stud started with Amanda (Doruto x Epos x Olaf van Wittenstein, line 1600). She was born in 1982 and became ster preferent and prestatie. My late wife Mieke and I visited Doruto’s breeder in the northern part of the Netherlands. We were attracted by Amanda’s strong use of the hindleg. For those days the middle part of her body was a bit long. Nowadays, the KWPN especially looks for rectangular horses...
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